Nome’s annual Berry Festival celebrates all things berry

Tundra berry

The much-anticipated Nome Berry Festival, celebrating the abundance of berries in Nome, took place on Saturday, August 19th. This annual festival occurs either in late August or early September and was held this year at the Nome Recreation Center. Featuring over 50 vendors, the Nome Berry Festival showcased a variety of original blueberry-themed artwork, baked goods, and more. From dance performances to handcrafted jewelry, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

On Saturday, the community came together at the rec center for seven hours (11-6) to revel in all things berry-related. A delightful array of berry-based desserts was available, including pies, jellies, and the famous ‘Blueberry Delight’ – a layered treat with whipped cream, cream cheese, a blueberry mixture, and a walnut crust.

While the M.S. Roald Amundsen was docked in Nome, bringing over 300 guests to the city, it marked the fifth ship to dock in Nome this year. This ship was the first to port in Nome last year following the Covid-19 pandemic, and the festival’s two year hiatus. The festival usually aligns with Nome’s cruise ship schedule and has been timed with the M.S. Roald Amundsen’s docking for the past two consecutive years.

Scholarships were granted to vendors and performers from surrounding Norton Sound communities to participate in and perform at the Berry Festival. Local live performances from musicians and The Nome St. Lawrence Island dance group provided captivating performances that drew a crowd around the stage.

While Nome residents had already begun berry picking for the season, the Berry Festival provided a chance to take a break from picking and come together in celebration, enjoying music, art, and freshly baked goods.

Photo at top: Tundra berry, taken by KNOM Volunteer